Within Parashah Balak (Numbers 22:2-25:9), one of the most vivid displays within the Torah is revealed as King Balak of Moav not only hires the false-prophet and sorcerer Bil’am, but also summoning him to curse Israel in stating,
“The people who came out of Egypt [i.e. the Jewish people] have spread over the land, now, come and curse them for me; maybe I will be able to fight against them and drive them out.” (Numbers 22:11, CJB)
From almost the beginning of time, there has always been those who have sought to harm God’s chosen people, the Jews. Although God in his mercy, chose Isra’el to be a blessing to all the nations of the world, and serve as ambassadors of God’s grace for all peoples, there has always been evil forces and strongholds that have sought to thwart and destroy the purposes of God, his Kingdom and that of his elect, national Isra’el. In describing such strongholds, Dr. Brad Long, President of PRMI (Presbyterian Reformed Ministries International) in his new book, “Timeless Lessons for Prayer Warriors,” in speaking of exposing our Adversaries tactics and piercing Satan’s cloaking, notes,
“…This tactic is based on how Satan works to form demonic strongholds. A stronghold is a human-demonic social organization that provides Satan, who is spirit, with the human, political, financial and sometimes military means to carry out his purposes on earth. For instance, for Satan to carry out his terrible plan to exterminate the Jewish people, he built the demonic stronghold of Nazism.” (pg. 47-48)
On speaking of these “strongholds,” such oppression is best seen in the actions of Balak who through human-demonic social organizations and coupled with the political, financial and military endeavor and through a spirit of divination (witchcraft) sought to destroy the chosen people of Adonai, all the while holding no regard for the eternal consequences of his actions. Although in Genesis 12:1-3, God promises Avraham that he will bless those who bless him and curse those who bring curses to God’s people, Balak nevertheless aligned his heart to evil and hires a diviner for the purposes of opposing the holy things of God!
Despite his intentions of evil, in our Parashah we nevertheless find one of the first biblical expressions of spiritual warfare, where on the way to cause harm to God’s people, Bil’am is prophetically confronted by God through a donkey and immediately thereafter, he sends an angel to block his way.
In Bil’am recalcitrance, three times he therefore attempts to speak curses, but instead he can only speak blessing over God’s people and concludes by prophesying the coming of Yeshua, the Messiah in declaring,
“I see him, but now; I behold, but not soon - a star will step forth from Ya’akov, a scepter will arise from Isra’el, to crush the corners of Moav and destroy all descendants of Shet.” (Numbers 24:17, CJB)
As with our Ma Tovu, in declaring “How lovely are tour tents of Jacob, your dwelling places of Israel,” so we are assured that in the end, all of God’s promises will be fulfilled and his Kingdom alone will be established upon the earth!
But some may ask, how can this be - especially in light of all the pain, chaos and suffering in the world? But in this, we cannot forget the faithfulness of God and our calling by his power and grace into the battlespace to declare victory in Messiah Yeshua. In this, we do not have the luxury of focusing on false or perceived circumstances, but instead we have the goodness of our God who has assured us that in and through us Yeshua will accomplish all that he has promised to do for the sake of his Kingdom!
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